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The only thing that could have made President Biden’s State of the Union speech worse is if he had droned on and on about climate change. In fact, as Ben Zycher notes, Biden barely mentioned the subject: the word “climate” was only mentioned twice.
True, his two mentions were absurd, such as this one:
Second — cut energy costs for families an average of $500 a year by combatting climate change. Let’s provide investments and tax credits to weatherize your homes and businesses to be energy efficient and you get a tax credit; double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more; lower the price of electric vehicles, saving you another $80 a month because you’ll never have to pay at the gas pump again.
I guess Biden thinks electricity to charge car batteries is free?
War and politics are complicating the efforts of the two biggest polluters in history — the United States and Europe — to slow down global warming, just as scientists warn of intensifying hazards.
On Tuesday evening, President Biden barely made a mention of his climate goals in the State of the Union speech despite promises to make climate an issue that drives his presidency. European politicians have their own problem: They are struggling to get out from under one of the Kremlin’s most powerful economic weapons — its fossil fuel exports, which Europe relies on for heat and electricity.
Oil and gas prices are soaring globally. That is a boon to those who extract and sell the very products that drive fatal heat waves, wildfires and sea level rise. And it is leading to new demands for increased drilling in the United States, already one of the world’s biggest producers of oil and gas.
But here’s the important part:
The developments come just days after an exhaustive report from the United Nations that implored world leaders to sharply reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that are dangerously heating the planet. To fail, they said, is to face a harrowing future where the rate of global warming outpaces humanity’s ability to adapt.
The IPCC always releases its periodic reports in three parts, to assure repeat headlines and opportunities for the climatistas to scream about the end of the world. The report of Working Group I (the science of climate) came out last August, generated the obligatory headlines, and now the report of Working Group II (impacts of climate change) is out, but because of the Ukraine crisis and the soaring coast of energy everywhere right now, it isn’t getting much traction. Bad timing on Putin’s part, since the climatistas are his most useful Western idiots.
Naturally the WGII report has the usual gloom and doom, “time running out,” and other familiar climate cliches. It also appears to be out of harmony with certain aspects of the WGI report last August, which dialed back some of the more extreme model scenarios of the future because it recognized honestly that the high-end emissions forecasts are becoming less and less realistic every day. But WGII goes all-in on the discredited high-end forecast, known in the climate policy trade as RCP8.5.
Roger Pielke Jr. Has long had the goods on this unrealistic forecast, and also why much of what WGII claims to be happening is not backed up by current scientific literature:
Each of the three studies utilizes the out-of-date and implausible extreme RCP8.5 scenario to project climate changes for 2100. So not only is society frozen in time, unable to adapt — which is clearly implausible, but future climate change is projected based on an extreme scenario that is also implausible. Implausibility built on implausibility offers no practical insight as to the role of adaptation in reducing vulnerabilities and increasing resilience. We might expect this sort of thing from a passionate advocacy group spinning science for theatrical effect, but not the IPCC. . .
The report concludes (TS-31) with high confidence that “Flood risks and societal damages are projected to increase with every increment of global warming.” This is simply not true. And by “not true” I mean that it is not an accurate representation of the literature that WG2 cites to justify this claim. It is also empirically false, as vulnerability to floods has dramatically decreased even as the planet has warmed.
Read the whole thing, as the saying goes. Meanwhile, a few charts that bear on the issue:
Chaser—here’s a short graphic look at why Putin thought he had Europe over a barrel (so to speak):